London, July 7: Six-time champion Serena Williams breezed into her ninth Wimbledon final, and a potential match-up with sister Venus, by demolishing unseeded Russian Elena Vesnina in just 48 minutes on Thursday (July 7).
The 34-year-old American, who is bidding for an Open Era record-equalling 22nd Grand Slam title, cantered to a 6-2, 6-0 win over her 50th-ranked opponent.
The defending champion could face Venus in Saturday's title match for the fifth time at Wimbledon and ninth time at all four majors. Her 36-year-old sister faces fourth-seeded German Angelique Kerber, the Australian Open champion, in the second semi-final later Thursday.
Serena, playing in her 32nd Grand Slam semi-final, blasted last-four debutant Vesnina off the sun-kissed Centre Court in front of Prince William's wife Kate watching from up in the Royal Box. The American fired 11 aces, 28 winners and committed just seven unforced errors, breaking serve five times to reach her 28th Grand Slam final.
Vesnina won just three points off the Williams serve in the first set and none in the second.
"I'm very happy. I was really focused today. We've had tough matches before and I knew she could bring it to me on this surface," said Williams, who has now defeated the Russian five times in five meetings. Despite the painfully one-sided semi-final Williams, into her third Grand Slam final of the year, insisted it had been a tough workout.
"It's never easy out there, every point you have to fight for," she said. "I can't believe I'm in the final this year. I'm 0-2 this year so I'm determined to win one. I want Venus to win, but Kerber would be another good match."
Should Venus get through against Kerber, it would set up a fifth all-Williams final at the All England Club and 28th career meeting in total. Serena triumphed in 2002, 2003 and 2009 while Venus came out on top in 2008.
Thursday's contest saw Serena race to a 4-0 lead in the first set before 29-year-old Vesnina got on the board. But the set was over in 28 minutes courtesy of Williams's seventh ace. The second set was wrapped up in just 20 minutes with breaks in the first, third and fifth games.
Saturday's final will give Serena a chance to win a first major of the season after losing to Kerber in the final in Melbourne and Garbine Muguruza in Paris. Vesnina's agony wasn't over.
Later Thursday, she and partner Ekaterina Makarova take on the sisters in the quarter-finals of the women's doubles. Vesnina had already scratched from the mixed doubles with partner Bruno Soares on Wednesday night to prepare for her singles semi-final.